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Develop GP Connect services

You may be working with an end-user organisation to solve a business need or looking to develop GP Connect APIs to secure a place in the healthcare market. The information below and associated pages will help you to understand the process of getting your product ready for use. 

An overview of the process follows. More detailed information can be found on our GitHub page.


1. Find out if you already meet the prerequisites

Review the prerequisites required for GP Connect assurance on out GitHub page.


2. Contact NHS Digital to express an interest

We need to understand how you plan to use GP Connect or what problem you are hoping to solve by using GP Connect capabilities. Let us know by emailing the team at gpconnect@nhs.net.

If your use case is accepted by the team, we will support you through our onboarding process to develop and assure a product and get it working in your health and care setting.


3. Develop against the relevant specifications

Complete your development of the GP Connect capabilities you want to use. Supporting materials are available with our specifications.

Find out the current, upcoming, and archived versions of GP Connect API and Messaging specifications.

We have developed an internet-facing system demonstrator to help with your development and initial testing.

When the development has been completed, we need evidence of your development in the form of example interactions between your system and our demonstrator.


4. Test in the NHS Digital integration environment

Once we've confirmed your evidence, you can access the NHS Digital integration environment to test your consumer system against the full end-to-end NHS Digital system, including Personal Demographics Service (PDS) and Spine Directory Service (SDS) integration.

The test evidence from integration will be used to complete your Supplier Conformance Assessment List (SCAL). The SCAL is a technical document used to assure all consumer suppliers against the NHS Digital API Specifications. The SCAL, with associated test evidence, is then submitted to NHS Digital's Solutions Assurance Team to review and approve the document.

In the integration environment, you'll need to test against each of the GP provider systems you expect to consume in live. A statement confirming that this testing has been completed is required by NHS Digital's Solutions Assurance Team.


5. Technical conformance

When your SCAL has been approved, NHS Digital's Solutions Assurance Team will create and issue a Technical Conformance Certificate to finalise the assurance process.

The Technical Conformance Certificate gives you the approval to deploy your consumer product in conjunction with an NHS Commissioner.


6. The first-of-type process

The SCAL process does not dictate a pilot/beta phase for consumer systems. We will take a risk-based approach and may impose an in-live assessment phase where the system will be assessed on:

  • clinical safety – checking there’s no risk in using this product in a clinical setting
  • information governance – protecting patient data to agreed high standards
  • technical conformance – how well it works with other systems
  • whether it does what it was designed to do

Further information

Last edited: 19 October 2021 11:59 am